Website security is of foremost importance in today’s world as more and more websites are getting added on the Web, and that is leading to security issues. Cyber-criminals are constantly honing their hacking skills to identify the vulnerabilities on the websites and make an attempt to breach the security. Automated scripts work to mitigate the security of the software programs that the websites rely on.
Here are the top 10 tips to secure your website at limited budget and prevent the security issues.
- Have a strong password for your website
A weak password makes it extremely easy for the perpetrator of cyber-crimes to get access into the website or server. Therefore, it is imperative to have a strong password that cannot be guessed easily. You should set your password as a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols. Make it a point to have at least 8 characters. Many of you might be having the same password for every account. That is a strict no-no.
Pro Tip: Never have your username as admin or client. It can put you at a risk to getting hacked. Have random usernames and passwords.
- Update your software programs regularly
There are numerous websites that get into the trap of hackers because of outdated software systems on which they are built. Every time there is an update in the plugin version or the Content Management System, you should immediately get it for your website, rather than doing it once in a week or month. Compromise in the security systems is most of the time through automated bots that are on the look out for vulnerabilities. Therefore, you should run the updates as and when they are released.
- Keep a track of SQL injection attacks
It is known as SQL injection attack if the attacker takes help of a web form field or URL parameter to access your database or make unwanted alterations to it. To prevent these attacks, you should use parameterized queries that can be easily applied to almost all web languages.
- Be wary of any error message
You should provide limited information in the error messages. Do not include API keys or database passwords in these messages. Avoid adding too much of exception details. Doing so can facilitate complex SQL injection attacks. To prevent any such security issues, you should display only the necessary information to the users and record the errors in the server logs.
- Refrain from uploading any files
If you allow the users to upload files on your website, it can put your website at a huge security risk. Even an innocent looking file can have a script that can help the hacker to get full access of your website. In case it is necessary for your form to have a file upload form, you should consider every file as suspicious. In case you let your users upload the files, you should not go by the file extension or the mime type for its verification. Even if you open the file and read the header or use functions to know the image size, you may not be able to figure out whether the file is malicious or not. Several image formats let the user store a comment section with PHP code that the server can execute. To avoid all these circumstances, it is best to limit the execution of files and modify the file permissions.
- Use SSL Certificates and HTTPS
SSL Certificates encrypt the data transmitted between the server and browser, and this in turn protects the personal information of the users. SSL Certificates act as a trust indicator by showing a green padlock in the address bar of the website accompanied with the tag ‘Secure’. This makes the customer trust your website, encourages more conversions, and boosts your website’s search engine ranking in the long run.
There are three main types of SSL Certificates, namely Domain Validation, Organization Validation, and Extended Validation.
Extended Validation or EV SSL is the highest kind of security certificate for which you need the verification of the company’s identity by an authentic Certificate Authority. You can buy EV SSL Certificate for your website from SSL2BUY
- Install website security tools
Website security tools help you to test the website security. These tools are also known as penetration testing tools or pen testing. Some of the important website security tools are:
- Netsparker: SQL injection and XSS
- SecurityHeaders.io: Figure out the security headers with correctly configured and enabled domain
- Xenotix XSS Exploit Framework: Helps in determining the vulnerable website inputs in each browser
- OpenVAS: Most premium open source security scanner
- Backup all the information on your website
It is of paramount importance to save a backup of all information that exists on your website. What if you lose all your data in a disastrous event? Such circumstances would make you realize the importance of backing up your information. Store the backup on the cloud rather than the server.
- Allow limited access to your employees
Do not give too much access to your employees as they might leak the information to unauthorized sources either deliberately or unknowingly. Educate them about the importance of website security and how to identify security threats so that they can prevent security risks if they encounter any.
- Employ Web Application Firewall
Web Application Firewall safeguards your website against SQL injections and cross-site scripting attacks. While choosing your web hosting company, make sure that it offers the basic level of firewall protection to the website.
Naïve website owners are often oblivious about security risks and hackers generally target these websites to inject the malware. It is a prudent decision to leverage security tools and HTTPS Protocol to protect the information of your customers as well as the business. For every business owner of the present times, it is a must to secure their website and these tips would work really well, without costing too much.